It is a beautiful day in the Secret Garden and we are continuing to plant cool season vegetables! Weatherman, Scott Steele, says our average frost date is April 27. Good rain, warmer temperatures and appropriate soil conditions inspired us to begin planting on April 15, so that crops could germinate in cool temperatures. We hope our efforts will encourage you to plant also!

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I have always known that I work for a great company, Thrivent Financial, that focuses on giving back, and whom over the years has provided me with so many opportunities – both professional and personal – to do that, but it took a personal situation for me to truly comprehend what it means to work for Thrivent Financial, an organization that empowers us to impact causes that are so near and dear to our hearts!

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Sometimes we all need a pick me up, and they usually aren’t that hard to find. It could be a smile from a stranger, a hug from a friend, or kind words from family. Small actions can make a big difference in anyone’s day, and rarely go unnoticed. A few years ago I was shown a very simple, but heartfelt way to make a difference in someone’s day, without having to say a single word: origami stars.  I was taught how to make these happy little stars, and if you open them up, you will be given a note of encouragement, love, or inspiration. Life can get hectic sometimes, but it is important to take a minute for yourself, think about your life, and just enjoy the moment.

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Today we honor and thank all moms that have courageously advocated for their children under so many trying circumstances. Their resolution is admirable. Every day at the Ronald McDonald House, we witness their enduring love and dedication and are in awe of their strength. For this reason, we share with you a precious “Love Note” that one mother left behind – she selflessly shared her love for RMHC in a beautiful way. Enjoy – and Happy Mother’s Day!

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Each year, McDonald’s hosts a fundraising campaign (formerly known as Give a Hand) that raises more than $50,000 for the House through customer donations. From May 1 through May 10, customers will have the opportunity to once again show their support during, Lovin’ #forRMHC fundraising campaign.

You can show your support for our Chapter and the families we serve by visiting a participating McDonald’s restaurant and purchasing $1, $3 or $5 Heart. You’ll be playing an important role in helping to strengthen families with critically-ill children right in your community.  All proceeds from heart purchases will go directly to support RMHC!


I have been a staff member at the Milwaukee Ronald McDonald House for a number of years. On a daily basis, I have the opportunity to witness the important role this House plays in so many families’ lives. I’m sitting at my desk thinking about how often I become so task driven that I forget to pay attention to the sounds of truck wheels moving across the floor, a small child giggling, or the hum of two moms who are sitting in the great room sharing their stories. These sounds are part of the life of this House that far outweigh the sounds of the copy machine copying, desk drawers closing, keyboards clicking, or phones ringing.

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Our family stayed at RMHC for the first time Friday night. My 10 year old son, Oliver, is battling leukemia with intensive chemotherapy for the second time now.

We live in Kenosha and while I stay overnight with Oliver in the hospital, my husband drives up with our other three children after work/school every night. It helps Oliver so much to not feel so isolated and depressed, to look forward to having his siblings around.

But when Paula (our awesome social worker) told us about RMHC, we thought we’d try it out on the weekend….WOW! What we thought might just be more “convenient,” turned out to be so much more!

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In 1974, President Nixon established National Volunteer Week, an initiative encouraging Americans to give back to their community through service. Every year National Volunteer Week is recognized by our elected officials throughout the United States.

As the Volunteer Manager, I have the pleasure of working with over 600 volunteers. Fourteen to 100 year olds volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House, giving their time and talents. Our volunteers help keep our mission alive by providing transportation to and from the hospital, office work, light housekeeping duties, making quilts for the guest rooms, gardening in the Secret Garden, supporting special events, cleaning and maintaining our kitchens, providing meals for the families and a variety of other duties.

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13 Apr 2015

My Family at RMHC!

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Spring is finally here, and boy I’m glad for that. I can hear the birds chirping and the sun feels so warm on my fur.

I have been meeting so many amazing kids lately; some from pretty far away. I was so glad to see my old friends from Bahrain, Asia. They traveled to the U.S. for a doctor’s visit. They are such a special family and I felt so happy because they wanted to see me!

My family recently went on a trip to Chicago to visit some relatives. They had an interesting animal living in their home, called a ‘cat’. I’ve never seen one of those before; I really wanted to play with him. But for some reason, they kept hiding him from me. I was sort of glad because he had some really cool toys! Best toy was the squeaky mouse on a string. It was a blast! Why can’t they make dog toys like this? It even has this great smell that I can’t resist. I think I know why my human Mom says I’m spoiled – because as soon as we got home, she took me to the pet store and bought one! I played with it all night! Just don’t tell Buster and Brutus from across the street. They may not understand.

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On February 11, 2015,  Kohl’s corporate office held there 5th Annual Chili Cook Off.  The Chili Cook-Off proceeds went to the Ronald McDonald House. The Kohl’s Volunteer Council chose the Ronald McDonald House, because they fully support all of the incredible work they are doing to help give the families of Children’s Hospital a loving and caring place they can go to after being at the hospital all day. It is very hard to have your child in the hospital, and being far from home makes it even harder.  The Ronald McDonald House gives a “home away from home” for these incredible families to stay for little to no cost,  which truly is a gift.

The cook-off had 21 chili participants and loads of baked goods. We served over 200 people in less than 1 hour with everyone having a blast.

Below are the winning Chili Recipes – enjoy enjoy!!!

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